Police responding to reports of an armed individual inside a Dallas-area fieldhouse hosting a summer camp for more than 100 children engaged an armed suspect on Monday morning, shooting and killing the suspect within minutes of the initial call.
Authorities say the first officers on scene arrived two minutes after the first 911 call was received and immediately began searching for the man.
Officers arrived in two minutes, entered the building and looked for that armed individual, according to Arias.
“Officers located a subject armed with a gun and engaged the subject,” [Duncanville police representative Michelle] Arias said. “The subject was struck (by gunfire).”
Officers rendered medical assistance and that person was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead there, police said.
No children were injured and they were cleared from the building and being reunited with parents at the nearby Duncanville Recreation Center, authorities said.
That quick response is being praised by parents of campers, who no doubt were thinking of the delay of more than hour in Uvalde, Texas before police stormed the classroom where an 18-year old had barricaded himself inside after shooting more than two dozen students and staff.
Donna Pearson told FOX 4 she had just dropped off her child at camp when she got a call from her brother, who is one of the coaches running the camp.
“He said that the kids were okay. They went into active protective mode and staff and kids were fine,” she said.
“I just want to thank the police department, the fire department for helping to screen. They did a fantastic job counting everything. They got the children secure and it’s just, it’s just overwhelmed that they handled business like they normally do. But I just, it’s just sad that we as people can’t have nothing to enjoy life and what to children and stuff. And the children were just so panicked and stuff but they handled it. The staff handled and got them out and on the bus and everything,” said William Burse, who was washinging his car nearby when it happened.
So far police have released no information about the suspect or his motivations, nor have they released any details of the confrontation that led to him being fatally shot by responding officers, but Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon says that officers recently underwent active shooter training.
“Our officers did not hesitate,” Gordon said. “They did what they were trained to do and saved lives.”
It was still unclear whether the man was targeting anyone at the fieldhouse, or any other details about what happened, police said.
… Video footage from the scene showed police and police tape surrounding a black SUV in the parking lot. The driver’s side door and the back hatch of the SUV were open.
More information about the incident has not been released by officials.
Michael Strickland, whose grandchildren were inside the fieldhouse, told WFAA that he first saw news about the shooting on Facebook. He rushed to the fieldhouse to make sure they were safe.
“This world we live in now, it’s unpredictable,” Strickland said. “There’s two forces, good and evil. Clearly it shows what side this incident is on.”
This shooting comes just a few days after police in Gadsden, Alabama shot and killed a man who was spotted trying to get into an elementary school hosting summer sessions. 32-year old Robert Tyler White was shot and killed after trying to grab a gun from the first officer on scene, and White’s brother says he had struggled with “serious mental health” issues for some time. Justin White also described his brother as a “hothead,” and said that he may have been trying to commit suicide by cop when he got into an altercation with the officer and went for his gun.
As I said, we don’t know if there was a similar motivation at play in Duncanville today, or if the suspect intended on targeting the campers inside the facility, but thankfully at least none of the kids or staff were harmed during the incident.